Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission Ready to Loosen Already-Loose Radiation Safety Limits for Food

#Fukushima I Nuke Accident: Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission Ready to Loosen Already-Loose Radiation Safety Limit for Foods (EX-SKF, June 3, 2011):

The Nuclear Safety Commission headed by Haruki “Detarame (‘Falsehood’; his cute nickname by the irate Japanese citizens)” Madarame has proposed that the Japanese government loosen the provisional safety limits for foods, as the Fukushima nuclear disaster continues.

(Oh by the way, did you know the provisional safety numbers for radioactive materials in foods, milk and drinking water were decided on the basis of 5 millisieverts per year radiation exposure?)

From Mainichi Shinbun Japanese (6/2/2011; emphasis is mine):

内 閣府原子力安全委員会は2日、食品や飲料水に含まれる放射性物質の暫定規制値を見直す必要があるとの見解を示した。  食品衛生法は放射性物質に関する基準がない。日本は東京電力福島第1原発の事故を受け、年5ミリシーベルト以下になるよう食品ごとの暫定規制値を 設定した。これは、国際放射線防護委員会(ICRP)が行政による出荷制限の目安として勧告している数値の中で、最も厳しい数値。しかし、事故が長期化し 実態に合わないとの声があり、安全委の代谷誠治委員も同日の臨時会で「暫定値を金科玉条のように使うのは望ましくない」と述べた。

On June 2, the Nuclear Safety Commission under the Cabinet Office indicated the need for revising the provisional safety limits for the radioactive materials in foods and drinking water. Japan’s Food Safety Law does not have the formal safety standards for radioactive materials. After the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, the Japanese government has set provisional safety limits for radioactive materials for each food item so that the total radiation [from food and water?] would be below 5 millisieverts per year. This number is the most strict one among the numbers recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) as the government guidelines to restrict the shipment [of the food items]. However, as the Fukushima accident continues, some experts have voiced concern that [these provisional numbers] do not fit the actual situation [i.e. they are too low]. Commissioner Seiji Shiroya spoke in the ad-hoc meeting of the Commission on June 2 that “It is not desirable to use the provisional numbers as if they were set in stone.”

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